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The Lucksmiths | Naturaliste (Fortuna Pop!)
Australia's indie-pop darlings return with their first collection of all-new material since 2001's 'Why That Doesn't Surprise Me' and it's very much business as usual. The trio have things pretty much sewn up in terms of clever wordplay, affecting vocals and water-tight melodies; strengths that make 'Naturaliste' wholly engaging if reassuringly predictable. There's really nothing here to buck the trend, just song after perfect song of gentle, summery bliss. Even when Marty Donald switches to yearning mode he elicits little sympathy because you know he's going to deliver a classic one-liner...any...second...now. The Sandringham Line bobs along with a harmony vocal from Eva Sommerfield and some punctual 'ba-ba-bahs', and is an exquisite example of The Lucksmiths' afternoon in the park lure. When they kick out the blueberry jams and let rip, as on recent single Midweek Midmorning, it's with all the ferocity of an unleashed spaniel, all floppy-eared and wagging tail. Unfashionable and unchallenging it may all be, but to deny the poetic, pastoral potency of 'Naturaliste' is like refusing dessert or closing the curtains on a glorious sunset...your loss.
CWAS #12 - Summer 2003